"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kill All Dietary Rules!

Whenever a new diet comes out, I go through the same feelings, starting with confusion, proceeding to rage and ending with complete indifference (hmmm. that pattern might say a bit much about me). They all have the same problem: they start with good information and then package it into convenient "rules" to remember which have no basis in reality. To show just how easy this is to do, and just how silly, here's my plan.

The Compost Diet

1.) Eat Rotten Food

Red wine is always being touted as healthy and it turns out that the alcohol is a bigger factor than the antioxidants; wine is rotted grape juice. There are websites devoted to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, which is rotted apple juice. Yeast breads (especially sourdough) are also rotted. Tempeh, natto and miso are rotted soybeans - unfortunately, most soy sauce is just a concoction of chemicals, rather than fermented soy. Yogurt with live cultures are the latest fad and it's rotted milk. Cheeses, which are salty fat-bombs and thus not particularly healthy, are also rotted milk and it appears that the strange bacteria and molds in them are good for the immune system. I've never tried Vietnamese rotted fish sauces, but air-dried hung beef is considered the best tasting (once you scrape off the mold).

2.) Consider Eating Your Garbage

There's a backlash against potatoes in almost every diet book out today, but part of the problem is that people tend to skin them and all the nutrients are in the skins. The stems and leaves of carrots and turnips are probably better for you nutritionally then are the commonly eaten roots. The leaves of broccoli are sold as rabe, raab or rapini in expensive markets.

3.) If it's bitter, stinks and gives you gas, eat more of it.

The foods that are touted as medicinal are the ones that are barely edible; spices are the prime example. [Try eating a cinnamon stick or vanilla bean.] Foods that would kill your pets are probably good for you - chocolate, onions, etc. Most of the barely edible foods give you a warning; they're bitter or they stink (both true for garlic); bland foods are the ones to avoid.

Soluble fiber is being found more and more to be important for cardiovascular health. Soluble fiber is also what leads to flatulence. It's your choice...

4.) Graze on your lawn and flower gardens.

Dandelions are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. Purslane is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Nettles are full of vitamins and minerals (and surprisingly tasty). Lamb's quarters, catnip, dozens of weeds are good for you. And your lawn is probably about 40% rye to begin with, if you live in a northern climate.

Many flowers are edible (last year I ate squash blossoms and nasturtiums). Many more are used for making herbal teas. Some are being sold over the counter as herbal remedies; I was surprised to find someone was stealing my purple coneflowers so she didn't have to buy echinacea.

And the bugs and worms you find are a great source of protein.
So there you have it. A preposterous diet that's completely reasonable in its basis.


nwgdc said...

The logical next question, then, is...what does SteveQ eat? Share a day in the life...

Kelly said...

All that sounds gross... but I'll keep the wine, cheese, and chocolate!

Scott Mark said...

I love this! Let me know if you need help with the book. ;-)

wildknits said...

Fun - and funny. Kind of glad you are not coming to see me for nutrition advice... though could be a lively discussion ;->

You want interesting - check out the Schwarzbein Principle diet... Sustainable? I couldn't do it (and am glad I do not need to).

Having seen the State Fair list I am thinking you are not a true adherant to your latest diet ;->

Londell said...

Do you recall the food blues? A song a few years back... part of it goes:

spaghetti and potatoes got too much starch
Pork chops and sausage are bad for your heart
There's hormones in chicken and beef and veal
Bowl of ravioli is a dead man's meal.

Bread got preservatives there's nitrites in ham
Artificial coloring in jellies and jam
Stay away from donuts run away from pie
Pepperoni pizza is a sure way to die.

Sugar rots your teeth and makes you put on weight
But artificial sweetener's got cyclamates
Eggs got cholesterol, there's fat in cheese
Coffee ruins your kidneys and so does tea.

Fish got mercury, red meat is poison
Salt's gonna send your blood pressure risin'
Hot dogs and bologna got deadly red dyes
Vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides.

So I said what can I eat that's gonna make me last
He said a small drink of water in a sterilized glass
And then he stopped and he thought for a minute
And said never mind the water, there's carcinogenics in it.

So I got up from the table and walked out in the street
Realizin' there was nothin' I could eat
I ain't eaten for a month and I'm feeling fine
'Cause he did not mention beer, whiskey, women and sweet red wine...

stay healthy...

johnmaas said...

Great observations, Steve.
Does White Castle fit into this diet?
Most people call them rotten or garbage. Their burgers stink and give me gas.
Some people might even have a location just about in their back yard.
I vote for Sliders to kill all dietary rules...

SteveQ said...

Okay, I don't follow "The Compost Diet." My standard daily diet consists of 4-5 servings of fruit, 2 servings of nuts, 3 servings of non-fat dairy, 5-8 servings of vegetables, 1/2 serving of fish, with oatmeal, pasta and exotic grains (teff, quinoa, amaranth, etc.) to fill the calorie needs.

Then, at night, junk food until I get sick. I'm not perfect.

sea legs girl said...

I'm just hoping that all the people out there who now want to try diet #4 don't have a dog.